Biology is a novel subject that introduces you to the science of how various living organisms function and their various bodily functions. It offers great insights into how a single cell functions, as well as how a large forest ecosystem runs. Great professions await students who embark upon the study of biology for the long haul. Given the various branches of biology, one can foray into forensic science, medicine, environment study, the food industry, etc. While it can be a subject that students can learn with a lot of curiosity and love for nature, not many enjoy it.
What are the top challenges faced by students while studying biology?
As per various research students the most recurring challenges and difficulties faced by biology students are:
- Finding the curriculum overwhelming
- Finding text abstract and unrelatable
- Usage of many new and complex terminologies
- Passive learning through reading and lectures
- Negative attitude towards the subject
In addition to this data collected by Biology tutors at TutorEye also indicates that most of the students who struggle with Biology can improve if they follow good studying strategies. So, we compiled a list of 10 tips that can be pivotal to your success in this subject. Read on:
Study text before attending the class
Follow this tip to get started with your biology study. If you scan through your textbook before attending a class, you stand to learn better. And if you have any pending assignments or lab work, do them ahead of the class. This will give you a chance to clarify your doubts with your school teacher and this way we will take our first step towards addressing the issue of finding the curriculum overwhelming.
Do homework regularly
The second best way to not feel overwhelmed by the curriculum is to complete homework assignments in a timely manner. This strategy alone has the potential to help you master biology. Each time you write or research about a process, it simultaneously works as revision. Besides, you also get adept at completing your work in time. By yourself, or with some biology homework help, these assignments can bring out the best in you.
Now if you find biology abstract and unrelatable then this one is for you. Sometimes, biology as a subject can be a bit complex & hard to relate to. However, visuals can be of great help here that make it much easier to decipher. Diagrams thus become fundamental to learning biology. Try to practice drawing the different diagrams and naming the parts of the diagrams correctly. It is a good way to memorize as well as present your knowledge.
Maintain flow charts and notes
This one too is for helping you relate better to the concepts of Biology. Flow charts are another excellent way to organize and learn a concept/process in biology. Tree charts, cycles, and so on are. all work efficiently at describing the topic in a glance. Similarly, make short notes on different topics too that you can refer to when revising.
Memorize suffixes & prefixes
This is one of the best ways to deal with the issue of finding biology difficult due to usage of many new and complex terminologies.
You’ll come across a lot of big and complicated-looking terms here. And it is quite common for students to misspell them, or confuse them. However, there is one hack that can make it easier to remember them. Get yourself a list of common suffixes and prefixes that are used in biology. For example, hypo- (below normal), and cyto- (related to cell) are prefixes. And -tomy (to cut open), and -gnosis (to know) are suffixes.
Make use of Mnemonics
Mnemonics are a fun way to memorize difficult orders and a chain of terms. Let us take the example of the hierarchy of the organisms in the taxonomy. They are Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. So, a useful mnemonic for this order can be – Do Kindly Put Cover On Fresh Green Spinach. Likewise, you can find several mnemonics online or make your own ones.
Leverage the lab time
Sometimes classroom lectures are just not enough and we need practice applied learning to understand the concepts clearly. Also research indicates that hands-on learning is always effective. Therefore spending time in the laboratory, or outdoors for research gives you an opportunity to verify what you have read in books. In fact, it also gives you an opportunity to openly explore any given topic.
Make a story out of the processes
Sometimes classroom lectures can be too serious and hence may make the subject boring for students. Therefore a lot of biological processes can be viewed as stories. Have you ever wondered about the digestive process of the food we eat as a story? The food travels through so many different organs and has different experiences like salivation, ingestion, excretion, etc. Each process of digestion takes the story of the food forward to the next stage.
Discuss the topics with someone else
Do you enjoy discussing a subject with your friends, a tutor, or someone else? Perhaps you will enjoy studying biology with them as well. Yes, a lot depends on a person’s interest in the subject as well as their level of knowledge. Based on this, you can either ask questions or explain the topics to them too. Either way, it can be a fruitful dialogue.
Solve Quizzes & Mock Test Papers
The ultimate test of knowledge for any student is to take exams. No wonder so many students feel less than confident about them, especially with biology, given its vast curriculum. So, it is a good idea to try getting hold of a past question sheet or a Quizlet and test yourself.
Evolutionary Biologist, Richard Dawkins once said, “Biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose.” Isn’t it wonderful then to explore the intricacies of nature and see how they fulfill their purposes? Also, the above tips by TutorEye will help you see the subject in a new light and make studying easier, more organized, and fun.
Do share with us what you think are the best ways to study biology and which ones you follow.